Editorial: Within Reach

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Sag Harbor’s new Main Street pizza place is set to open this week and we hope the community welcomes the owners, Michael Cinque and Laurent Tourondel, and their staff with open arms. Social media was a flutter earlier this week when the doors to Sag Pizza opened and food was being prepared as the staff trained for what is sure to be a grueling August debut. Concerns ranged from overall pricing to whether slices would be served and, if so, what their cost might be. The restaurant’s opening has been held up by necessary regulatory approvals, forcing pizza-loving Sag Harbor locals and visitors alike to continue looking elsewhere for their pizza fix, as they have done since Conca D’oro shuttered its doors for good last fall.

Sag Pizza will be the second Sag Harbor eatery owned by Mr. Cinque and Mr. Tourondel, who also operate LT Burger on Main Street, which is open year-round with good food and a festive atmosphere. Have prices at some of these local eateries soared out of reach for average year-round resident? Of course, they have. The cost of living in general has reached a crisis point on the East End, and as a result it has become nearly impossible for restaurant owners to assemble reliable, year-round staffs. Rents have also soared, especially on Main Street, and those increases have inevitably found their way onto local menus.

A glance at the Sag Pizza menu shows pizza prices between $14 and $18 for a 12” pie.Comparatively, a plain 12” pizza at Sam’s in East Hampton is $15. At World Pie in Bridgehampton prices for a 10” pie range from $17 to $20.

So why all the fuss about Sag Pizza? The Venesina family, which owned Conca D’oro, decided to close after 40 years in business. They were not pushed out or forced to close. It was a tough pill to swallow for some, and coupled with the closing of La Superica, another beloved Main Street eatery, it felt like the force of change was moving a little too fast. But none of this had anything to do with Sag Pizza. The new restaurant will not replace Conca D’oro as a central hub of the community anytime soon, but it should not be dismissed for that reason alone. We, for one, will be happy to have a year-round pizza place back on Main Street.

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